Well, well, this summer has flown by without much of a peep from me here on the Gathering Table, nor really on social media besides a little sneak peek of life here and there. The truth of the matter is I've not had such a boring summer that I don't have much to share - it's quite the opposite, in fact!
After moving back to Denver in December, I started working with an amazing local skincare studio, dove headfirst into wedding planning for our big day, and also maintained a handful of my private nutrition clients while simultaneously offering monthly women's groups for self care + community and releasing a podcast with one of my best friends highlighting inspiring women + their journey's through wellness. Taking on a lot in a short period of time, I made it a really important point to elevate my self care, which was reflected in a lot of my life - saying "no" to things I felt didn't serve me or that I simply didn't have the space to say "yes" to; choosing projects intentionally; trying to remain calm + conscious in my actions; and nourishing myself physically through good food + movement.
I was actually quite proud of myself for this ('cause no matter what you see on social media, blog posts, or other media, finding a balance and a perfect self care routine is quite difficult in our busy, busy world.)! When it came around to the couple of weeks before our wedding, I made sure to prepare ahead of time - running extra errands during any free time, scheduling all my "pampering" appointments the few days prior to the big day so I could just relax, and ordering my favorite healthy meal service so I could remove the time it takes to shop, prep, and cook real food that made me feel good.
And guys, it worked! I was actually surprised that a lot of people were asking me why I wasn't more stressed on our wedding morning (which makes me laugh!). But that was the whole point of taking care of myself - I wanted to be as present as possible when I walked down the aisle for this really beautiful occasion. And a beautiful occasion it was. Both my husband (insert heart eyes here) and I were elated with how amazing the weekend was!! Sure, there were stressful moments, but it was overall an incredible time to spend with so many people we are so grateful to love.
After the wedding I was looking forward to having "so much free time". But life had other plans of creating a whirlwind of lots of travel, lots of food, lots of wine, and lots to do! And friends, this is when the lesson of balance - from riding high to swinging low - comes to life.
I'm not the first, the last, nor the only woman to tell you it's a breeze - in fact, finding balance in self care is a lot of fucking work. It's taken me YEARS to get to where I am now in that journey, and this past month I felt like I allowed my self care to go out the window because I took every opportunity to say "IDGAF". I ate and drank all the things.. and by all, I mean allll of them. Besides a lot of walking, I didn't work out because of a knee injury, followed by a broken pinky toe - which was more painful, swollen and bruised than I thought possible. And my mental wellness was pretty much forgotten with meditation and sleep going down the drain.
All this to say that I, a wellness obsessed, balancing act who prides herself on finding the perfect teeter-totter between giving my all + giving in when it comes to my health, really swung the pendulum dramatically out of whack - both ways. But there's a lesson in patience here: with my body, my mind, my life events. A reminder that everyone's journey - no matter their profession, how hard they've worked to be where they are today, or where they apply their passion - is different, full of ups and downs, sideways zigzags, whirly woos and nary a straight line in sight.
The green juice sippin' babe with glowing skin whose 10,000 followers adore her eye for succulents + beautifully tiled floor at the local crystal shop isn't any more skilled at walking the tight rope of self care than is the sleepless mama who's newborn only allows her coffee, a stale granola bar + bags under her eyes. Both of them have their own checks + balances to work through in food, in movement, in life, in relationships, in self care.
But what it comes down to is that one grand idea:
everything in moderation.
As a self-proclaimed "self love advocate", it can be challenging even for me to elevate that time + space dedicated to taking care of me because at times it may be that I just need to take a break. Before and after my wedding I clearly explored each direction of this equation.
So, my question for you is: in your journey, how are you managing the fine line between putting in extra effort to take care of yourself or simply knowing when it's time to just make yourself a pizza, curl up in bed with a good movie and call it a day? Have you spent much time pondering these choices? And if so, are you able to join the two to create a complementary marriage that truly represents a balance in moderation?
The swinging of that pendulum is a constant! There's no point in your wellness journey that will be "it" - there will always be a valley of obstacles to maneuver as equally as mountain summits from which you will eventually need to descend. So next time you feel yourself moving out of equilibrium, ask yourself what you truly need:
to take care or take a break.